You Lost the Nap Battle. Here's How You Can Win the Quiet Time War
It just happened with my cousin's daughter, Anna Mae. She's two-and-a-half years old. She eats kale and tomatoes, and she has smiles for miles. But she is DONE with naptime. Eventually it happens with every preschooler (or primary schooler). We all quit taking naps--at least until college.
Don't give up hope: There is a sweet alternative called Quiet Time, and it's beneficial for your child. You've lost the nap battle, but you can (peacefully) regain your territory in the afternoons with these tricks.
- Atomic Robot
It's Time to Establish a Routine for Preschool Bedtime
If you already have an awesome bedtime routine for your preschooler, congrats! You can skip this article, and just share your tips with us.
For the rest of us, whether it was the start of school for our older kids or a change in sleep habits for our infant, it never hurts to consider a bedtime routine that works to get our preschoolers to sleep on time, and maybe even get time for ourselves.
Six Ways Timing is Everything in Toilet Training
The right time to toilet train varies based on your child and your own circumstances. Some moms really want that first child out of diapers before his sister arrives, and other moms want to wait because they don’t want to clean soiled underwear and spit up.
At some point, it’s time. And we’ve found that using a timer (our favorite for this is the Time Timer® PLUS) can give you the routine, expectation setting and sanity you need to move onto big girl panties (or training pants as the case may be). Here are some of our favorite time and schedule tips:
Consider your Schedule
Headed out of town for a long weekend soon? Planning a vacation, new baby, new job, new school or major holiday? These are probably not the times to begin toilet training. The excitement of going potty is enough excitement by itself. Really, trust us. Don’t try it before a road trip or her big sister’s first day of kindergarten.
Decide on a number of days.
Tackle it on a weekend, or over a week. Set a number of days to try toilet training. You might find she’s too young, or there’s too much going with her siblings, and another time is better. But set expectations, and keep them, and give yourself a break to reassess if you or she aren’t ready.
Start with 20 minutes.
Going diaper free (however that looks for you), set the timer for 20 minutes, and then take her to the potty when time elapses.
Allow 3-5 minutes each trip.
Re-set the timer (or keep a separate one by the potty), and tell her you’ll sit until the timer goes off. She can watch time run out on the red disk, or you can read her one of her favorite stories (Everyone Poops is never a bad choice.).
Expand your time in between trips.
If she’s dry at 20 minutes, slowly increase to 30, then 45 minutes. If she has an accident, you can reduce the amount of time in between trips, and then try increasing again.
Be prepared to try again.
If after three days, she isn’t finding success at the potty, take a break. Try again in a few weeks.
Taming Tantrums with a Timer
Are you in the throes of the “terrible twos”, or did you just find out that really it’s the threes that will test your mettle as a parent?
Your sweet child has started to have a mind of his or her own. And you’ve read the advice on what to do when the tantrum starts--redirect, ignore, offer a time out to calm down. With anything, the best medicine is prevention. How can you tame the tantrums before they start?
The Time Timer ® PLUS can help you create, and keep, a routine that works.
Parenting preschoolers means occasionally (or often) letting go of some of our own expectations of what we can do on a given day: shower, exercise, vacuuming. Since we’re adults, we can adapt (That’s why they call it #adulting). But our kids still need routine to help them know what to expect and when to expect it, before they lose their cool.
Establishing a routine that works
From naptimes to mealtimes, creating a routine can help your child cope and prevent unnecessary tantrums as she comes to expect activities at regular intervals. Use the Time Timer to help stay on track with her schedule and yours. That way you know it’s time to put down the Pigeon book before she’s too hungry, or when to close Instagram and do laundry before she wakes up!
Easing the transitions
Keeping a routine is easier when your child knows what to expect and when. A visual timer helps him see how much time is remaining before Daniel the Tiger is over and he needs to eat lunch, or before he needs to put the Lego bricks away so you can get brother off the bus. The PLUS’s rugged carrying case allows you to take it to wherever you go. Little ones can help you carry it, too!
Reminding him of the time remaining and referring to the visual timer will not only help him ease into the next activity, but also begin to learn the concept of elapsed time.
Tame the tantrums today with Time Timer PLUS at 25% off! Offer valid until September 30, 2016. Discount Code: TAME16.
- Atomic Robot
It’s Time to Begin the Back-to-School Transitions
Educators use the Time Timer ® in schools across the country to help their students stay on track. But did you know the inventor of Time Timer originally designed it to help parents keep their kids on time for school?
That’s right; we love to help everyone make the most of their time, at school, at home and at work. Here are some tips for you to start the school year smoothly at home.
Count down the days. For younger kids, I love this paper chain that helps keep track of the days without needing to know numbers.
Ease back into your bedtime routine. If your kids have been staying up later because the sun’s out, and well, they can, move the bedtime gradually to avoid grumpy kids.
Eat dinner on the same schedule each night. Who wants to come straight in from work, or maybe the swimming pool, and cook dinner? Not me! When school starts, however, the dinner routine will be a crucial part of establishing the daily routine, allowing for adequate time before bedtime.
Set a Time Timer to give your children--or yourself-- a visual reminder of how much time remains before dinner.
Track how much time it takes to get ready in the morning, and adjust wake time, and/or expectations, accordingly. Rehearse your morning routine so that everyone will be out the door on time.
Re-establish the wake up call. The 7:30 a.m. bus will be there, whether you and your kids are ready or not. Start now setting up a routine you can follow to wake your kids. And don’t forget to adjust the bed time to match. The Time Timer Dry Erase Board helps children remember to stay on task and get ready in the morning before school.
Limit screen time. Maybe you’ve already limited screen time all summer--props to you! If you haven’t, the Time Timer is a great way to help kids monitor their own screen time. Since it’s highly visible with a contrasting red disk, it works for kids with hearing loss or with low vision. The quiet beep when time elapses keeps their mind at ease--no stressful beeps!
Soon enough, school will be here, and you’ll need your Time Timer to help with homework! Until then, enjoy summer!
- Heather Rogers